I love Pizza. I mean I really, really, really love pizza.
So much so that back in 2015, I invested in buying my own outdoor wood fired pizza oven and had it bricked into my back garden.
The model we got was the Primo from the Stone Bake Oven Company.
I knew nothing about making pizza, so I started watching YouTube videos on how to set up the fire, how to make hand rolled dough and how to actually cook the pizzas.
My first attempt I did in the winter and it was a total riot. My pizzas were ok but far from my aspired level of delicious.
As I practiced more, I got better and as with anything you put focused practice into a level of mastery is developed. I had gotten to the point where my pizzas were tasty and my family and friends found them tasty. Still my own level of ‘delicious’ had yet to be found.
I am in no way a perfectionist. I fully understand that perfection is an illusion. I do love to raise my standards across all areas of my life though. For me progress always = happiness.
It’s April 2020. The UK is in house arrest due to COVID -19. The weathers great and my pizza oven is busy firing our delicious pizzas like never before.
We’ve eaten so many tasty pizzas this spring and it’s been awesome. Everyone’s noticed the improvements and it makes me feel really proud.
Here is the exact process to follow.
Making the dough
We use a bread maker. It’s this model we got from Julie’s mum, Mary. They sell them on Amazon.
We use a mix of white bread flower and wholemeal flour. We follow the instructions for the bread maker.
Next I leave it to prove in a large bowl with a lukewarm damp kitchen towel over it. I find 24-48 hours is best.
Firing the oven
1- Stack the wood and fire it.
2- I leave this for around 2 hours raking the coals across the oven evenly.
3- When I am ready to start rolling the dough and prepping the pizzas I fire a large log.
Obviously, not everyone has access to a wood fired pizza oven. A regular oven does the job just as well I just prefer the taste when using this method.
If you are using a regular oven, you could use a pizza stone like this one. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C with the stone inside. Once creation is prepared, place it in on the stone for 10-15 mins (until the crust is golden brown). Brush the stone afterwards (don’t wash).
We use jarred pizza sauce from the supermarket. I am going to start to make my own sauce in the future. I’ll bulk cook that and freeze it.
The key to a good pizza in this oven is to keep them light. We use grated and traditional buffalo mozzarella cheese. I also fry off some onion and mushrooms.
We always have chicken in the fridge so we chop some of that up and I like small chunks of chorizo on my pizza. I always pre-cook our toppings.
Making the pizza
We roll the dough thinly onto pizza boards. We use a rolling pin. I will be learning how to hand roll them. It’s on my vision board.
Then we spread the tomato base evenly, leaving a half inch space from the edge.
Next we sprinkle our choice of cheese and add the other toppings we want. We season and it’s ready to go into the oven. The great thing about this is that you can experiment to see what gives the best taste.
Around 5-8 mins later and the pizzas are ready to be enjoyed.
All the family agree they taste delicious.
And I step closer to having my own pizzeria. A dream I’ve held close for a few years now.
Having developed the confidence to cook pizzas. I’ve now ventured into steak, chicken, bread and burgers all done in our wood fired oven.
Food is such a massive part of my life. It always has been. It makes me sad to think I used to avoid these foods because I’d labelled then bad due to stupid beliefs developed in the fitness industry. I’m so glad I’ve grown out of restrictive eating. It’s such a negative mind fuck.
I believe food is there to be celebrated and enjoyed. I love my food and my pizza and eating them is a celebration each and every time.
Until the next time
Davie McConnachie is a passionate teacher and artist. The creator of DMC Fitness and Dynamic Mind Conditioning, he’s an expert health and wellness coach, multi-award winning motivational speaker, award-winning gym owner, writer and published poet.
Athletically, Davie has competed nationally in MMA, Boxing and Thai Boxing, and internationally in kettlebell sport. Davie enjoyed the London Marathon, several half marathons and is a regular mountain trekker.